ATTACK OF THE 50 FT. WOMAN
In almost every single aspect, the remake is better than the original better actors (with the exception perhaps of Daniel Baldwin who is typecast again in a career where he seems to have specialised in playing sweaty, macho slobs), special effects that actually convince (apart from the weak UFO effects), a bigger budget and a better worked-out script. The remake does follow the original surprisingly closely even down to retaining the narrator at the start of the film. The 35 years difference have however made some changes Honey Parker can more openly be a slut, Nancy can visit a shrink to sort her problems out, and is now just a dependent personality without having to be a suicidal alcoholic as well.
The places that the remake makes changes to the original material are interesting. Two of the characters from the original the doctor and the deputy are now played by women. This is in fact the crux of the remake it taps into the subconscious image the original relayed and brings it out as a metaphor for feminism where Nancys gaining of giant-size becomes a sudden injection of empowerment. The film manages to successfully straddle both a feminism and a jokey self-consciousness with Nancy now stomping through the town muttering: Ill stop when I find Harry Im just looking for a little closure, thats all ... Ive really tried to be modern and adult and post-feminist and look what its got me. Well, now Im taking matters into my own hands. In one memorable scene, she picks up Honey Parker and tells her: Dont be stupid your whole damn life. Youre better than they are, youre smarter than they are and you know more than you think. We all do. [At another point, the film even appropriates the wind in the wires speech from It Came from Outer Space (1953)]. The approach only falters at the ending that fades out on Daniel Baldwin and another man surrounded by giant women and forced to undergo consciousness-raising and a jokey epilogue that tells what the three supporting women characters got up to following the events depicted a point that the campy line falls into limp humour.
Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman was the second directorial film from Christopher Guest, previously an actor and comic, probably best known as one of core members of the mock-heavy metal band Spinal Tap. Subsequent to Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman, Christopher Guest has become celebrated as a writer-director of a series of amusing mockumentaries that include Waiting for Guffman (1996), Best in Show (2000), A Mighty Wind (2003) and For Your Consideration (2006). Guest is also married to actress Jamie Lee Curtis.
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